Airport Extreme N has landed!

I got an IM today and was told my new Aiport Extreme N basestation was in at the Mac Store! So I headed on over and picked it up.

After I finished work, I plugged it into the laptop via ethernet to configure it. The Airport Assistant was easy to use and it even told me the ethernet to WAN was not plugged in when I was setting it up, so I would not get internet access!

After setup, I connected over wifi and all worked fine. I then reconfigured the Express to connect to the Extreme, again that went fine.

Finally I moved it, plugged it into my Verizon FIOS ethernet port and powered it up. Instant internet access!

I ran some speed tests and whereas under the linksys I would get 1.8mbps up, 8mbps down over 802.11g, I was now getting 1.8/14.65! In other words, my 802.11g performance is now equivalent to the lan speeds when connecting out to the internet!

Both of Elizabeth’s Windows XP laptops are only getting 3.x mbps down and i have not determined what that issue is yet.

I plugged in my Canon ip4200 printer, which wasn’t seen by the Mac Book Pro. I then realized that I didn’t have the drivers on this machine and they are not part of Tiger. When the printer was connected to the G5, it had the drivers and thus no other machines needed them. Now, the basestation acts more like a direct connection to the printer and thus all machines that want to print will need the drivers installed.

I have not tried AirDisk yet.

The first major issue came up trying to use a corporate VPN client from Windows. No go. After some research, its a widespread problem. One solution is to set up a reserved IP address for the computer needing VPN access and then set the “default host” (dmz) to that machine’s IP. This lame workaround works, but exposes the machine to non-firewalled internet access. Hopefully a fix is shortcoming.

However, while the dmz was set up routing all ports to the PC, Erick video chatted me and it worked fine! Instant connection too.

Pros

  • Fast 802.11g performance with Mac Book Pro Core Duo (full 15mbps down)
  • Easy setup
  • AirDisk fast reads
  • Stronger signal than Linksys WRT54gs

Cons

  • Need default host work around to make Windows SonicWall VPN client work
  • Windows 802.11g performance very slow (3 vs 15mbps) – Wired speed is fine – Same performance on WRT54GS!
  • Need to reboot after making any changes, such as to add a new user to AirDisk
  • Updating/Rebooting does not reset FIOS PPOE connection -Base station thinks it has a connection, but it doesn’t. Have to pull the power plug.